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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/289

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Cinderella in Britain.

speaking, he claims to win on this point whether obverse or reverse turns up. But in making my strictures, I was not so much thinking of Mr. Lang's general remarks on this subject as his specific treatment of definite tales. He has given to the world some dozen delightful studies of special fairy tales: in only two of these. Puss in Boots and Jason ("A Far-travelled Tale" in Custom and Myth), has he allowed the possibility of borrowing, and in the latter case I still fail to gather whether he would allow that the Samoan variant must have been borrowed from abroad. In the other cases Mr. Lang was chiefly engaged in showing the underlying savage ideas which might have given rise to the story, presumably independently in different countries. It was this I was thinking of in fathering the Casual Theory on Mr. Lang, and in this I was far from being alone.

M. Cosquin took the same view of Mr. Lang's theories as I did. Professor Krohn shares the misunderstanding in his Bär und Fuchs. Here in England, among Mr. Lang's journalistic friends, there is nothing to be heard of but the Casual Theory. The young lions of the National Observer and the more elderly lioncels of the Saturday Review, are sublimely certain that resemblance in folk-tales is due to chance, not transmission. M. Sudre, in his recent study of the Reynard cycle, puts it that "l'anthropologiste Lang" is the author of the view "que tout conte est autochthone et a des représentants sur tous les points du globe parce que les idées primitives de l'humanité étaient partout semblables" (Les Sources du Renard, Paris, 1893, p. 8). M. Bédier, in his recent study of Les Fabliaux, is quite the casualist, and quotes Mr. Lang as his authority. Is it not too unkind of Mr. Lang to give away his English friends and French disciples with such a cœur léger? Nay, even after Mr. Lang has repudiated casuality and all its works, I observe that Lieutenant Basset, in reviewing the Cinderella volume, in which his palinode appears, sums up Mr. Lang's position naively: "Mr. Lang frankly acknowledges that he